Phil Regan, a 30-year veteran of teaching winter ball in Latin America, minimize quick his keep within the Dominican Republic this yr for a similar motive a lot is totally different this yr: the coronavirus pandemic.
Initially, Regan, 83, was as gung-ho as ever about attending to work. If the Dominican Winter League was enjoying, he wished to be there, serving because the pitching coach for Toros Del Este — Bulls of the East. However when six gamers on his group examined constructive for COVID-19 inside the previous week, he determined to depart.
The Mets’ senior adviser of pitching growth was attributable to return to his residence in Port St. Lucie on Sunday, he stated.
“[After] the primary three, I stated I’ll nonetheless keep right here,” stated Regan, who meant to work remotely. “However two days later, we had three extra check constructive.”
Amongst these on the Toros’ motley crew of a roster: Yankees righthander Domingo German, Mets catcher Bruce Maxwell and former Mets nearer Jenrry Mejia.
Getting into play this weekend, German had allowed one run in 9 innings (1.00 ERA) in two outings. On Opening Day, he tossed four innings within the group’s no-hitter — the primary in a season opener within the league’s historical past, Regan stated. Suspended for 2020 as a result of he violated MLB’s home violence coverage, German had not pitched in about 14 months.
“He began that recreation and he went 4 innings and he regarded nice,” stated Regan, who isn’t fairly fluent in Spanish however speaks sufficient to get by. “He’s throwing the ball actually, very well. Sharp breaking ball, good fastball [96-97 mph]. He seems to be actually good.”
Maxwell, who this month agreed to return to the Mets on a minor-league deal, caught the sport.
Mejia, 31, hasn’t pitched within the majors since 2015. He was reinstated from a purported lifetime ban — punishment for 3 failed performance-enhancing drug exams — by MLB in 2018 and nonetheless is making an attempt to maintain the dream alive.
“Mejia is throwing this yr higher than I’ve seen him previously,” Regan stated. “He doesn’t have the fastball he used to have, however he’s nonetheless [92-94 mph] with a fantastic slider and nice changeup.”